Explore the Sunflower State with us on this new, weeklong tour, which will be excellent for waterfowl, cranes, sparrows, raptors and other open country birds.
For most, Kansas evokes images of sprawling wheat fields, tornadoes, The Wizard of Oz…and little else! But if you look beyond the stereotype, you may be surprised to discover that ‘The Sunflower State’ is a place of breathtaking beauty, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and exceptional birding. Situated on the Central Flyway, Kansas’s collection of prairies, wetlands, and woodlands provide vital habitat for an astounding number of migratory birds every spring and fall. Two of the world’s most important waterfowl and shorebird stopover sites (Quivira NWR & Cheyenne Bottoms) are here, and its Midwest geography means that the 460 species recorded within the state are represented by a nice mix of both eastern and western birds.
November is a great time to visit with huge numbers of geese, ducks, and other waterbirds like Sandhill Crane, Franklin’s Gull, and American White Pelican congregating at various wetland refuges and lakes across the state. In some years, the sheer number of birds at these stopover sites can be mindboggling, with some single day estimates for species such as Snow & Greater White-fronted Geese reaching upwards of several hundred thousand! Our tour is timed to give participants a good chance at witnessing some of these huge numbers of birds at the refuges before it gets too cold, in addition to a number of species of interest such as Long-eared & Short-eared Owls, LeConte’s Sparrow, Whooping Crane, Prairie Falcon, Ferruginous Hawk, and Greater Prairie-Chicken plus more common beauties like Mountain Bluebird and Harris’s Sparrow. We will even have a chance to see both American Bison and Pronghorn on this trip!
Some of the birds we hope to see: Snow, Ross’s, Greater White-fronted, and Cackling Geese; numerous duck species including Common Merganser, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, and Common Goldeneye; Northern Bobwhite, Scaled Quail, Ring-necked Pheasant, Greater Prairie-Chickens, Eared and Western Grebes; White-winged Dove; Greater Roadrunner; Sandhill & Whooping Cranes; American Avocet; Stilt Sandpiper; Baird’s Sandpiper; Long-billed Dowitcher; Bonaparte’s & Franklin’s Gulls; Pacific & Common Loons; American White Pelican; American Bittern; White-faced Ibis; Golden & Bald Eagles; Rough-legged & Ferruginous Hawks; Barn, Long-eared & Short-eared Owls; Prairie Falcon; Loggerhead & Northern Shrikes; Black-billed Magpie; Horned Lark; Rock and Bewick’s Wrens; Mountain Bluebird; Townsend’s Solitaire; American & Sprague’s Pipits; Purple Finch; Lapland, Chestnut-collared, and Smith’s Longspurs; Snow Bunting; American Tree, Fox, Harris’s White-crowned, Vesper, LeConte’s, & Lincoln’s Sparrows; Spotted & Eastern Towhees; Yellow-headed Blackbird; Eastern & Western Meadowlarks; Yellow-headed, Rusty, and Brewer’s Blackbirds; Great-tailed Grackle; and many more Mammals: Pronghorn & Bison